Friday, September 06, 2013

Happy Willow for happy kiddos

There are good indoor playgrounds, and there are good indoor playgrounds. None that we have come across, though, is better than this.

Fusionopolis is not one of the places that we frequent. The last time we were there, we went to watch The Hungry Caterpillar. That was last year. We haven’t been back, till recently.
Happy Willow cover
Now since our discovery of Happy Willow, we have been back numerous times. In our opinion, Happy Willow is the best indoor playground we have visited so far. Well, actually, it is this mummy’s opinion. To EV, any indoor playground is good.

Seriously, a lot of thought has been put into the creation of Happy Willow. It is what I like to call a holistic indoor playground, because it combines physical play, imaginative play, literacy and craft into one space. Curious? Let me bring you on a pictorial tour.

Happy Willow 1 kids den
The moment you enter Happy Willow, on the left, is the play area that most indoor playgrounds will have. Here at Happy Willow, they have clearly demarcated sections for older kids and younger babies - Kid's Den and Toddlers' Turf. And one of the biggest areas in the Kids' Den is the ball area, which includes an orange slide from the second level of the soft play structure.

Happy Willow 2 swing
Here is EV climbing up the play structure trying to get to the second level. One of her favourite highlights is the swing, and she just can't get enough of it.

Happy Willow 3 rock wall
Another unique feature is the rock wall. EV was scared to want to try that out, so she was contented to just stand by it. She did however, attempt the net climb structure all by herself, and was extremely ecstatic that she climbed it successfully.

Comparatively, the whole play area is rather small compared to some other indoor playgrounds. However, Happy Willow more than makes up for it with the other play areas, which is on the opposite side. This is where little kids' imagination is triggered. Besides a little garden complete with potted 'flowers' and watering cans, there is also a miniature garden table and chairs for kids to chill out and have a 'picnic'.

Happy Willow 5 garden

Happy Willow 6 train
Just next to the little 'garden' area is a hardware booth, complete with tools and a shelf to hold them.

Happy Willow 7 phone
And just beyond the train area is the home and kitchen area, with a stove, barbecue grill and a sink. One of EV's favourite toys in this area is the cashier machine, which comes with a walkie talkie. She couldn't get enough of it.

Happy Willow 9 cafe
Throughout the playground, there are ample couches, chairs and tables for parents to sit back and relax, while the kids are at play. There is a small cafe too, which serves mostly drinks and snacks. You can bring your own food for lunch or dinner, but do buy the drinks from the cafe.

Happy Willow 10 book burrow
Now, just beside the cafe is the Book Burrow, a cosy area where kids can go to for a quiet moment of reading, or some art and craft. Don't think that this area is not often used. During the times we were there, I have noticed kids retreating to the Book Burrow to read a book, then run back to the play area for more fun. EV did a lot of that too.

Happy Willow 8 shoe rack
Happy Willow also has mini book displays just outside the Book Burrow from time to time. One of the displays that I really liked was the one featuring local authors. I didn't know that there were so many children's books published locally, such as The Adventures of Mooty, as well as one by a 9 year old girl. I even bought a few titles for EV.

Only socks are allowed in Happy Willow. There is a nice green cabinet with 'Happy Willow' tags at the entrance to let everyone put their shoes neatly and safely. There are even tiny chairs just for the kids.

On another trip there, we discovered another secret - a party room! EV attended a holiday music session that Happy Willow held. This room can even be used for private parties.

Happy Willow 11 party
So our verdict? Happy Willow is definitely a place we will keep coming back to. In fact, plans have already been made to visit this coming holidays.

Disclaimer: We received one complimentary Play Pass from Happy Willow. All other visits were paid by me. All opinions and photos are my own.

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